Rick Porcello twirled a gem in Saturday’s win over the Yankees, going seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts and only one walk.
That makes 13 1/3 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts in Porcello’s last two starts. The right-hander had little trouble with the Bronx Bombers, not allowing a single extra-base hit. Only one base runner advanced past second base, too, and that was quickly erased with a two-out grounder to second base. Porcello now has 36 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings; however, considering his swinging-strike rate is perfectly in line with his career numbers, that’s likely to regress to his recent norms. Still, as someone who was heavily criticized for getting $82.5M over four years, his 2.76 ERA and five wins are being heartily embraced in Boston. He’ll next go on the road against the same Yankees club on Friday.
Francisco Liriano held the Reds to one run over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six, in a 5-1 win Saturday.
Liriano scattered five hits without walking a batter in the start. It was a nice bounce-back outing after a couple of subpar starts his last two times out. The southpaw is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 1.46 WHIP through five starts. A date with the division-rival Cardinals in on tap for Friday.
Billy Hamilton went 3-for-4 with a run scored in a loss to the Pirates on Saturday.
Hamilton, batting ninth, had three of the Reds' six hits against Francisco Liriano and company. The multi-hit game was Hamilton's first of the season -- he had just six hits coming into the game. Needless to say, it's been a disappointing start to the year for the 25-year-old, who's hitting just .218 with four steals in 20 games.
Michael Pineda couldn't go more than five innings in Saturday's loss against the rival Red Sox, but kept his squad in the game with only two runs allowed on five hits.
Pineda continues to be immensely hittable on the mound, now with 35 hits in 27 innings, but the inefficiency and lack of strikeouts really stood out on Saturday. He needed 106 pitches to span five innings, and although he entered the game with an attractive 27:5 K:BB, he both walked and struck out three. The 27-year-old had quality advanced metrics heading into the 2016 season, but it hasn’t worked out in his favor thus far, showing that strikeout-to-walk ratios are not always perfect indicators of future success. Being around the zone too much can have negative consequences. Pineda has a 6.33 ERA on the year and will get a rematch against the Red Sox in his next outing on Friday, May 6.
Sam Fuld (shoulder) is facing a 12-15 month recovery.
His surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache no later than May 18. With Fuld set to miss a good chunk of 2017, it could be hard for the veteran to find work this offseason. The 34-year-old's contract expires at the end of 2016.
Robinson Chirinos will undergo an MRI on Tuesday to see if his broken forearm has healed.
If he gets good news he could begin a rehab assignment in the next week to 10 days. Chirinos has been catching but hasn't resumed throwing yet. He was placed on the 60-day DL so the earliest he could return is mid-June.
Francisco Cervelli went 2-for-4 with an RBI single in Saturday's win over the Reds.
Cervelli has registered two-hit games in three of the last four, raising his overall line to .321/.438/.385. He's still looking for his first homer, but the catcher has 12 RBI and 11 runs scored batting in the middle of the Pirates' lineup.
David Freese went 2-for-4 with a run scored Saturday against the Reds.
Freese now has multi-hit games in three of his last six contests. A late signing by the Pirates, the third baseman has been one of the team's best hitters through the month of April, batting .293/.387/.402 with a home run, nine RBI and 15 runs scored. Even when Jung Ho Kang returns in a few days, Freese should still find his way into the lineup with regularity as long as he continues to produce.